Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange released a statement this morning after the long-awaited Healthplanfinder website spent much of its debut day offline.
“As of this morning, we are pleased to report that Washington Healthplanfinder is online,” said Onizuka. “Beginning last night at 8:00 p.m., we conducted a thorough end-to-end investigation of the Washington Healthplanfinder system in order to determine the root cause of intermittent issues such as slow loading times and difficulty completing online applications. After conducting that analysis, our IT team has made some necessary system modifications and deployed a patch to address these issues.
“Our initial findings determined that unexpected user activity and interaction with the marketplace created some of these issues. This activity included sporadic, exploratory navigation through Washington Healthplanfinder on day one that was very hard to replicate even in our extensive testing leading up to launch. Today, we will continue to analyze this behavior and refine our system to better meet the needs of our customers. And while some users may still experience brief interruptions or difficulty browsing for plans, we are continuing to monitor the system throughout the day and make any additional improvements as needed.”
Tachnical difficulties derailed much of Healthplanfinder's first day. Enrollment was initially set to begin at 7:30 a.m., but the site was taken offline by 8:45 a.m. to deal with complaints about long load times. The site eventually came back online at roughly 1:30 p.m.
Even today, some have reported further issues with the Healthplanfinder site, including glitches in the online application and more slow loading times.
Healthplanfinder officials were active on social media throughout Tuesday morning to give updates on the site's status.
“Creating Washington Healthplanfinder is no small technological feat,” Onizuka said, “and we appreciate the patience demonstrated as we move forward. This new marketplace will enable thousands of uninsured individuals, families and small businesses in Washington State to find, compare and enroll in health plans that meet their needs and their budget. Consumers can also compare quality health coverage side by side and see if they qualify for financial help to cover the cost of their monthly premiums, or access free coverage through Washington Apple Health.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to the positive customer experience. And while we have experienced some expected bumps in the road, the corrections made last night and continued enhancements to the site over time will ensure a smooth application process for those seeking and enrolling in health coverage.”